Santa’s Oven Cleaning Tips

Fred's Appliance Academy
November 10, 2023

Thinking about running self-clean or even maybe doing so before a major holiday, you might want to think twice. So here we have my GE oven. Just a slide-in range, nothing too fancy, and as you can see, it's really dirty. Now for the purpose of this video, I have let my oven go for months and months without cleaning, deliberately making it dirty, which my wife has not appreciated, but it is for the greater good. So as you just saw, my oven is in dire need of cleaning, and what I am not going to do to my oven is run it in self-clean and I'm going to explain why. You can see there I selected self-clean. It defaults for five hours and is now locking the door. By the way, if you do not have a door lock, you do not have a self-cleaning oven.

It is the law that all self-cleaning ovens lock the door. The reason for this is when you select self-clean, your oven literally becomes an incinerator. You saw when I selected self-clean, it defaulted for the five hours and will run at 900 degrees for those five hours, which is insane. Your modern-day ovens are almost all controlled by control boards or essentially just little computers. The number one killer of electronics or computers most often is heat. So I have a great idea. Let's put a control board in your oven and let's let it get to 900 degrees for five hours. What could possibly go wrong? Now I'm just kind of tinkering with a control board there for a second and I was trying to figure out what was the least amount of time that it would run self-clean for, and that came to be three hours, which is still kind of crazy.

The bottom line is running self-clean on your modern-day range or oven is one of the worst things you can do for it. Not only does it diminish the lifespan of your heating elements or your burner tube or igniter if you're using gas, but you're also at risk of overheating your control board. Also, your oven is thermally protected. There is a thermal fuse located usually in the back of the range, and if it gets too hot, the fuse pops and it deactivates bake and broil leaving you with no oven. So take a pro tip from sentiment here and don't ever run it before a major holiday because if it goes down you won't get service. And two, prolong the unit's life by using good old-fashioned elbow grease.

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